Vyatta: Pressuring Cisco Prices?
Open source appliance maker Vyatta has unveiled the 3500 networking appliance family, which combines routing, firewall and VPN functionality. Vyatta claims the appliance offers 10 Gbps networking capability at 1/20th the cost other ‘name-brand’ networking appliances. But are solutions providers and their customers really ready for open source network?
First, let’s look at Vyatta’s claims. Based on an new Intel benchmark, Vyatta software running on a Nehalem Quad-Core Xeon “can readily process 20 Gbps traffic and still have CPU capacity.” Vyatta also claims the unique blend of hardware and open source software allows simple scalabity just by adding cores and network adapter. The white paper details all the goodies it has to offer:
- Enterprise and Service Provider WAN Routing
- High Security / Perfomance Firewall
- Intrusion Protection
- Redundant Hot Swap Power Supplies
It’s a 2U rack mount system and it comes preloaded with Vyatta software and subscription services (built on top of Debian Linux with other open source projects.) Vyatta adds a command structure and webGUI for easy access. Plus, there’s a toolset to optimize performance when running in Xen-based virtual environments. Vyatta claims the offering typically costs under $5000. Tom McCafferty, director of marketing for Vyatta, offered up the following prepared statement:
“The sheer scalability of Vyatta’s open networking operating system combined with Intel’s newest generation of processors allows us to push through the 10 Gbps barrier of routing and security… [with] …no clearer evidence that networking can enjoy the same economic benefits delivered by the x86 ecosystem, which dwarfs that of any proprietary hardware vendor.”
The VAR Guy spotted some Vyatta channel momentum in mid-2008, and the company in 2009 landed on The Open Source 50 report — which tracks the most promising open source partner programs. Still, let’s keep things in perspective: Vyatta is a small, privately held company. In stark contrast, Cisco’s annual revenue was $36.1 billion in 2009 — and the company remains a dominant channel force.
Will Vyatta nibble away at Cisco in selected markets? Perhaps. We’ll see what happens when the 3500 is in the wild. You can get all the specs and details on the internals of the box here. Meanwhile, Vyatta continues it’s crusade against Cisco with the Vyatta Vs. Cisco Quiz challenge. I think it’s a little quirky, but I suppose it gets the point across.